Tyson didn’t take the song sitting down. On Wednesday’s episode of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” the astrophysicist emerged to Wilmore’s “science panic button” to fire back at the rapper.
“Listen B.o.B, once and for all. The earth looks flat because, one, you’re not far enough away, at your size,” Tyson said. “Two, your size isn’t large enough relative to Earth to notice any curvature at all. It’s a fundamental fact of calculus and non-Euclidean geometry — small sections of large curved surfaces will always look flat to little creatures that crawl upon it.”
He continued that B.o.B’s belief is part of a larger problem. “There’s a growing anti-intellectual strain in this country, and it may be the beginning of the end of our informed democracy,” Tyson said.
Though he added that people are free to believe anything they want to, those with influence need to have facts right, because “being wrong becomes being harmful to the health, the wealth, and the security of our citizenry.”
Tyson then turned to Isaac Newton to drill his point home: “Isaac Newton, my man, said, ‘If I have seen farther than others, it’s by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ So that’s right B.o.B, when you stand on the shoulders of those who came before, you might just see far enough to realise the earth isn’t f — ing flat.”
“And by the way, this is called gravity,” Tyson said as he literally dropped the mic.
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